It's a powerful album with big beats and lyrics that focus on hard truths through a fog of synthetic opiates, crime, cough syrup, chronic and paranoia. "If God won't help me this gun will, I swear I'm gonna find my way," he raps desperately on "Blind Threats." The Pharrell-produced "Los Awesome" features a "backyard full of Crips, county blues, barbecues" on a celebration of all things gangsta. One of the album's best mergers sees Q join Odd Future founder Tyler, the Creator and longtime L.A. rapper Kurupt for "The Purge."
The seven-minute centerpiece "Prescription/Oxymoron" is the big payoff: a harrowing snapshot of a man "stuck in this body high" of prescription pills, slipping in and out of consciousness while his child tries to wake him. This is not an album to give your teenage kid without a companion conversation about the dangers of drugs. But after the disclaimer, sit down and wonder on the miraculous ways in which musical talent can germinate amid such a landscape and grow to create work filled with boundless promise.
Three and a half stars